The effect of statins on bone mass and fracture rates is uncertain. Therefore, we investigated whether statin therapy acutely altered bone turnover as measured by changes in bone serum markers (bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin, and type I collagen N-telopeptide cross-links). Fasting blood samples were obtained from 55 (M/F 39/16) healthy nonsmoking adults (mean ± standard deviation: age, 50.4±7.5 years; body mass index, 27.8±4.9kg/m2) with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations between 3.38-4.90 mmol/l. Subjects were randomized to four possible 8-week treatment regimens: placebo (n =14), pravastatin 40 mg/daily (n =12), simvastatin 20 mg/daily (n =14) or simvastatin 80 mg/daily (n =15). High-dose simvastatin (80 mg/daily) produced a significant reduction in bone-specific alkaline phosphatase as compared with other treatment regimens (p =0.009). However, there were no changes in urinary N-telopeptide cross-links, a sensitive marker of bone resorption. Short-term use of high-dose simvastatin lowers the level of the serum bone marker bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, which suggests the possibility of reduced bone turnover.
- Bone density
- Bone markers
- Cholesterol lowering therapies
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism